Lake Mohave: Houseboat center floats eco-friendly ideas

June 2011 News Jay Jones - Special to the Los Angeles Times
A floating building, decked out with environmentally friendly features, is open for business in southern Nevada.

The facility at Cottonwood Cove on Lake Mohave, 14 miles east of Searchlight, Nev., serves as the new operations center for Forever Resorts, which rents a variety of watercraft, from WaveRunners to houseboats.

The decking of the new building is made from rice hulls, and recycled tires form much of the outer shell. With its somewhat unconventional materials, the structure cost $642,000 -- more than the cost of traditional construction, the operators say.

 "It is more, but there are a lot of benefits to that 'more,'" said John Schoppmann, Forever Resorts' executive vice president. He said that, over roughly 20 years, the company expects to recoup the extra expense through reduced costs for services such as electricity and garbage collection.

The facility was designed with the aim of meeting "Gold" certification requirements set by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or 
LEED, a program for so-called green buildings. Gold is the second-highest rating in the program.

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